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Millennials Cropped.pngOne of the most exciting things about being a marketer is that we get to put consumer engagement and customer engagement in the center of everything that we do.  Whether or not the end consumer is your immediate customer, one absolute truth for marketers is that:

“Marketers need to be relevant.”  

Now I don’t just mean relevant – as in: current – I mean real-time relevant – as in: “what-have-you-done-for-me-this-hour?” relevant.   That relevance comes even more clearly into focus as consumers personalize more and more what they see, what they use, what they avoid, what they share, and how they buy.  

“Marketers must be customer-obsessed in order to strategize, prioritize, and execute.”

The customer is the ultimate score settler; the customer can make (or break) your day – and no matter how much knowledge and experience you may have as a marketer, the customer’s customer – the consumer – may still surprise you.  Within these dictums opportunities lie.  Whether a consumer focus group or some consumer market research infers behavior, predicts emotions, amasses attitudes, or summarizes attributes for the consumer – her choice to engage, share, reject, promote you is an absolute measurable outcome! 

“No time to drive your marketing agenda [read: campaign – offer – asset] but rather make it theirs.”

If you’re a marketer but you’ve not yet infused your content marketing plans with user generated content, then you may be missing the point here.   And the point here is: Who Am I Marketing To?  And I suggest that you take some time to truly figure this out, as it may not be what meets the eye.  It may be that the advocates for your products and services are based on how you market as much as what you are marketing to the consumer.

“The customer journey runs through to a consumer’s capacity to advocate for your product or service.”

And that is why consumer engagement means “game-on” for marketers.  Because, it is somewhat like a game – where one side creates awareness through the means necessary – relevant consumer content – isn’t it?  And the other side tells the world how he interprets, ranks it, or feels about it. 

Last week I had the opportunity to be in a room with some of the finest marketing minds in the business.   They all realized that:

“Consumer engagement is the next iteration of the social customer.”

And that:

“Marketing metaphors and plans can only go so far.  Create. Execute. Learn. Repeat (only more intelligently).”

Learning and adapting in marketing has everything to do with studying your customer insights, streamlining your marketing intelligence and selling to the end consumer.  Getting more deeply entrenched in the channels, conversations and communities where your consumer engagement can take place is worth the effort. Finding deeper meaning than was previously possible can not only insure awareness but might convince and convert consumers that you’re real-time relevant for them.

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